"Alas! when Virtue sits high aloft on a frigate's poop, when Virtue is crowned in the cabin of a Commodore, when Virtue rules by compulsion, and domineers over Vice as a slave, then Virtue, though her mandates be outwardly observed, bears little interior sway."
"Setting aside the vast herd which shows no definable character at all, it seems to me that the minority distinguished by what is commonly regarded as an excess of sin is very much more admirable than the minority distinguished by an excess of virtue. My experience of the world has taught me that the average wine-bibbler is a far better fellow than the average prohibitionist, and that the average rogue is better company than the average poor drudge, and that the worst white-slave trader of my acquaintance is a decenter man than the best vice crusader."
"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat."
"I never saw love as luck, as that gift from the gods which put everything else in place, and allowed you to succeed. No, I saw love as reward. One could find it only after one's virtue, or one's courage, or self-sacrifice, or generosity, or loss, has succeeded in stirring the power of creation."
"Biography, in its purer form, confined to the ended lives of the true and brave, may be held the fairest meed of human virtue--one given and received in entire disinterestedness--since neither can the biographer hope for acknowledgment from the subject, not the subject at all avail himself of the biographical distinction conferred."